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Design Trust

By: Joe Duffy
Posted: July 10, 2012, from the August 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
Before and after photos for a packaging redesign for AmLactin products

Before and after photos for a packaging redesign for AmLactin products

  • Good product design can be transformative, and that’s why, if something isn’t working, it may be time to switch gears via a packaging rebrand.
  • Map out your rebranding before beginning in order to develop a clear vision, get input and feedback, and find the right partners for the work ahead.
  • Fresh packaging can confuse consumers, but can also make a line or product more visible and better received. Work carefully and thoughtfully, but don’t be afraid to take a chance.

The sun rises on a new day. We each wake up, shower, brush our teeth and take on our individual routines. At some point, we look into the mirror and gaze at our reflections with a critical eye. We squint and tug—one more wrinkle, one more gray hair. Moisturize. Powder. Smooth. Snip. Tweak. Whiten. We reach for the bottles of our favored products, preparing ourselves for the day.

If only we would stop to examine the bottles, tubes, tubs and jars with the same critical eye; the products we choose to use are reflections of ourselves. Do we look at their details or give them the same careful consideration? Do we recognize what our product choices say about us as individuals? In this regard, design can make us conscious.

Good design can be as transformative as the products we choose, and while design can’t turn a bad product into something good, it can take a good product and make it great. Take AmLactin, for example, formulated with all the ingredients for a successful brand—clinically proven to soothe dry skin and dermatologist-recommended, a lotion successful in its own right. But the original packaging was holding it back from telling its full story: “Strong stuff. For smooth skin. Relief. To make you feel better, and better about yourself.”

The [rebranded] fresh packaging lives up to the product’s quality, enhancing the consumer experience. It can also mean better shelf placement and extended reach, as well as enhanced consumer loyalty and new buy-in.

Where to Begin

One of most difficult decisions brand owners, ambassadors, marketers and CMOs face is knowing when and where to start in rebranding a product or line via package design. Here are a few tips to guide you in assessing your design and ensuring you’re doing your part to bring good design to the table.

Focus. Start by asking questions: Where is my brand going? Where has it been? Where do I see my brand in the next six months? In the next six years? How does the current branding differentiate the product on the shelf? What is it about my brand that isn’t working? What can be improved through positioning and design? What are my competitors doing? Does my brand and its design fit into the lives and styles of people who could become customers, advocates and loyalists?

Now is the time to envision the future. Be willing to let go of the past if it won’t help you tomorrow, and embrace a new vision of your brand and its product in order to move forward.